Bank of Hawaii Corporation

Right smack in the middle of downtown Honolulu is where I find the corporate offices for Bank of Hawaii Corporation, the holding company for Bank of Hawaii. With over $715 million in revenues, Bank of Hawaii owns bragging rights over arch-rival First Hawaiian Bank to being the state's biggest bank.

Built in 1967, the 22-story structure is looking its age especially when compared to the modern 30-story head office of rival First Hawaiian Bank located directly across the street. Normally the tops of downtown high-rise office buildings are festooned with corporate logos and names (especially banks) but, this is Hawaii where such signage is forbidden.

Not knowing where the main reception area is located I first head into the six-story main banking branch adjacent to the high-rise. I'm then directed next door to the security guard manning the lobby desk in the high-rise. The guard makes a call and before long I'm zipping up the elevator to the 22nd floor but, not before noting there's no 13th floor button.

I'm given a warm welcome and excellent reception by Terri-Ann Chow, Executive Secretary to CEO Al Landon, and Stafford Kiguchi, Senior Vice President & Corporate Communications Manager.

Around 800 employees work in the building, there's no on-site recreational facilities, senior management gets reserved parking spots, those who bicycle to work enjoy covered parking, smoking isn't allowed in the workplace and there's a company cafeteria. There's no formal dress code and instead of casual Fridays, there's Aloha Fridays. Actually, since visiting companies in Honolulu I've yet to spot ANYONE wearing a suit. Men wear tucked or untucked floral design shirts---it makes sense in this tropical climate (see sidebar below). It's two miles to the nearest freeway, five miles to Honolulu's airport and there's no corporate aircraft.

Checking out CEO Al Landon's top floor corner office I count four family pictures, four plants (real), note the computer and a wood paddle for canoeing (a gift). The view out his windows? Fantastic panorama of the ocean and harbor only a block away plus, Landon can keep an eye on arch-rival First Hawaiian Bank located right across the street.

Kiguchi walks me over to the top floor of the adjacent six-story main banking branch to check out the boardroom. The elongated table & chairs made of Koa wood (indigenous to Hawaii) seats 25 with two paintings hanging on the walls.

Company website:

*Sidebar. Asking if a company has a formal dress code can lead to interesting answers. Many don't have a written dress code but instead give the standard "appropriate wear" answer. I can still vividly recall visiting J. B. Hunt Transport Services in Lowell. Arkansas, one of the largest truckload delivery companies in the USA with $2.7 billion in revenues, and thumbing through an employee handbook and reading some very specific restrictions. Here's an excerpt:

Men' Dress Code
A tie must be worn at all times
No beards
No earrings
No athletic shoes of any color.
Socks must be worn at all times.
No denim pants, ever.

Women's Dress Code
No denim pants, jean skirts or jean dresses.
Hosiery (not socks) must be worn at all times.
No sun dresses or revealing clothing shall be worn without a jacket.
Slacks can be no shorter than one inch above the ankle.
Play clothes are not considered appropriate office attire and are not permitted.
Play clothes are defined as: very short skirts (a hem length 1 and a half inches above the knee or longer is acceptable), T-shirt-type dresses, cropped pants, etc.
No sandals or athletic shoes of any color